1st April 2013
Council Tax Benefit
Replaced with Council Tax Reduction. Find out more at www.fifedirect.org.uk/counciltax
‘Bedroom Tax’ is introduced for social housing tenants. Fife Council has since agreed to reimburse the full cost of this tax. To find out more, go to www.fifedirect.org.uk/dhp
The Social Fund
Replaced with a new scheme of grants called the Scottish Welfare Fund. Local councils make awards of Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants from this fund. To find out more and apply, go to www.fifedirect.org.uk/welfarefund or call 0300 555 0265.
10th June 2013
Personal Independence Payments
Personal Independence Payments replace Disability Living Allowance for new claimants.
15th July 2013
Benefit Cap introduced - phased in fully by the end of September. The ‘cap’ (i.e. most benefit you can claim per week) is set at £500 p/w for lone parents and couples and £350 for single adults. The cap includes Housing Benefit, so if your benefits will amount to more than the cap then your Housing Benefit will be reduced accordingly. The cap doesn’t apply to households receiving Disability Living Allowance, War Widows or Working Tax Credit.
Universal Credit replaces all means-tested benefits for people of working age (including Housing Benefit). There are three ways of moving to UC:
- Anyone making a new claim for an out-of-work benefit will have to apply for Universal Credit from October 2013
- Those who have a life-changing event that would have triggered a new claim will move to Universal Credit from October 2013. An example of this would be having a new baby in the household
- From 2014 - 2017 everyone else on a means-tested benefit will be invited to apply for Universal Credit
A new Claimant Commitment is introduced for those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, detailing what they agree to do in exchange for receiving the benefit. The commitment is different for every claimant, but can include regular specific tasks and training opportunities to help you find work. Anyone who doesn’t fulfil all their commitment is likely to have their benefits sanctioned for a minimum of four weeks.
Incapacity Benefit abolished and no longer in payment. Recipients have all moved on to Employment & Support Allowance by now.
Personal Independence Payment
Existing Disability Living Allowance claimants will be moved over to Personal Independence Payments between now and February 2018. DLA claimants won’t automatically start to receive PIP – they will have to make a claim for the new benefit and undergo a medical assessment when invited by the DWP.
You will no longer be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Employment & Support Allowance or Income Support. Anyone who wants to make a new claim for these benefits will have to apply for Universal Credit instead.
State Pension Age
Increase in State Pension Age for women will be accelerated so that it reaches 65 by November 2018. Then both men and women will rise to 66 by April 2020. The planned increase to 68 is likely to be accelerated too.
Welfare Reform - Related links
- Welfare Reform timeline
- Universal Credit
- Scottish Welfare Fund
- Managing your benefits
- Managing your money
- Credit unions
- Income Support
- Bedroom Tax
- The Benefit Cap
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Claimant Commitment
- Work and Training
- Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)
- Food Banks
- Citizens Advice and Rights Fife / Citizens Advice Bureau
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)